City of Greater Bendigo mayor Lisa Ruffell welcomed the chance to chat with Federal Minister for Workplace Relations, Financial Services and Superannuation Bill Shorten yesterday.
But she said the meeting over a $10 million council staff superannuation shortfall was “a little disappointing”, given some of Mr Shorten’s answers.
Before the meeting Mr Shorten told the Bendigo Advertiser that employers couldn’t outsource their obligation to look after staff members to others.
“The federal government doesn’t employ local council senior executives, local council employs local council senior executives,” he said.
“Local council have made decisions about giving pay rises, then you’ve got to understand when you give that pay rise, that obviously has a flow-on effect to the retirement wages of senior council executives.
“We’ll hear what they have to say, but a solution to a problem that says it’s all someone else’s fault... we haven’t been running Bendigo city council.”
Cr Ruffell said all levels of government needed to work together to find a solution. She said a letter seeking an urgent meeting with Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu would be sent.
“I think the minister got the point of what we’re about,” she said.
“It’s always great to be acknowledge by a minister coming and listening to us, I just wish we could have him do a bit more.
“I’m all about solving it and moving on. If you want to go back, you can go way back, but I want to ensure federal, state and local government can get this solved because it’s going to hurt our community and our ratepayers.”